When did it become March? I'm fairly certain that New Year's Eve was only a minute or two ago...Normally I'm counting down the seconds, because March 3rd (today) is my birthday! I've never been one of those crown & sash types of girls on my birthdays (really not a fan), but I do love to have a handful of celebrations so that I can cover all of my family, friends & loved ones.
This year just feels a little...different. My birthday really snuck up on me! I don't feel any different, or any older. There has been very little anticipation or build-up, and any sort of big celebration feels like such an unnecessary fuss. I would be content to have a home-cooked meal shared with the people closest to me, some wine & a good movie. (Sheesh...maybe I really am getting old!)
Don't get me wrong, I love a good birthday party (or any party for that matter)...I just don't feel like 23 is something major to be celebrated. This has been one of the biggest years of my life change-wise though, so I've decided that fact in itself makes this new age and new year something worth mentioning! I've learned a lot, and experienced more life adjustments, accomplishments and emotions than any other year in my life so far.
So this year, I'm raising a glass to getting through such a roller-coaster year, and having such an infinite list of things to be thankful for. I have precious little to complain about, few regrets and no major changes or goals I want to set for myself to "change my life" this year. I think being in my first year out of college, living in a new city on my own, tackling life's challenges head-on and coming out on top is more than enough reason to celebrate.
23 Things I've Learned About Being 23:
1. My fears about succeeding in my career were unfounded - hard work & determination are all it takes!
2. Taking care of yourself, your mind and your body in your 20s is the most important thing you can do.
3. You don't have to feel the slightest bit of guilt at wanting to stay in with Netflix & a good book...all weekend.
4. No amount of planning will actually prepare you for how it feels to graduate college and take on the real world.
5. You will be surprised which friends stay in your life, and which ones gradually fade. This is normal.
6. You have to put in the effort to hang on to the friendships and relationships that are important to you.
7. Having a place to escape and relax is one of the best things you can have. My bedroom is my sanctuary.
8. Sleeping is finally one of my favorite activities. Working full time is exhausting, and resting feels so damn good.
9. Saving money is rarely fun...but having that money is one of the best feelings ever.
10. Your free time is much more valuable as you get older. Don't waste it on things you don't want to do.
11. Learning how to be alone and be okay with that is incredibly important, and the sooner you can do it, the better.
12. Traveling is one of the best and most rewarding ways that you can spend your time and money.
13. I have really enjoyed re-discovering my love for reading - and I hope to read over 250 books this year.
14. I finally know the difference in wanting to do something that I'm old enough to do and knowing that just because I can, doesn't mean I should. I have finally learned how to tell myself, "No. Wait."
15. Always say I love you to your parents. Frequently, and for no reason at all.
16. Feeling lonely at 23 is incredibly normal. No one talks about it - but it's there. It's the reason #2 is so important.
17. I've learned to love myself enough that when I have a bad day, or just really want to "treat myself", I can do it without feeling guilty or body-shaming myself. Zero regrets about eating an entire pizza or finishing a whole season on Netflix in one sitting.
18. I'm not in any rush to grow up...but I'm also not clinging to staying young or acting wild nearly as much as I anticipated.
19. I also still love to watch movies from my childhood, eat my favorite childhood snacks and pretend that I'm a kid for a day. I truthfully hope that I never feel too old for this.
20. It is much more cleansing to have less things, rather than more. Quality has officially overtaken quantity - this applies to clothes, apartment decorations, possessions from my childhood...Not to mention it makes moving a lot easier!
21. Very few things will go how you expect them to - so the less expectations you have, the happier you tend to be!
22. The things that used to terrify me, aren't really so scary after all. I'm looking forward to more changes, more adventures and more growing up.
23. I'm incredibly thankful for my health, my happiness, my friends & family, and for the opportunity to continue to live another year of a life that I love - no matter what comes my way.
Thank you to everyone who has made my birthday feel so special, and for making me feel so loved!
Cheers to 23 - Bring it on!